Great Britain Top Friday’s Practice Shanghai, China - A1 Team Great showed it was still on form following its Mexico Feature race win by topping the timing sheets in today's practice session for the A1GP Shanghai, China this weekend. With regular driver, Robbie Kerr back behind the wheel, A1 Team Great Britain clocked a time of 1.35.573, just three hundredths of a second faster than second placed New Zealand. On only his second A1GP race weekend, France's Jean Karl Vernay set the third fastest time completing the circuit in 1.35.680.
Commenting on his performance, Robbie Kerr said: 'Things look good. Oliver (Turvey) did an excellent job in the car and came back with some really useful data and some knowledge of the circuit for me so I could I could learn from that and go out there and perform well. When we first went out, the car was immediately competitive and we were second quickest straight away but we just needed to make a few more improvements throughout the session and change a couple of things and ended up at the end of the day going quickest.'
Talking about the new chicane that joins turns four and eight on the shortened circuit, Kerr continued: 'The curbs do seem to be quite low but they bounce the car around a lot and you need to keep it stable through there to enable you to get on the power. It's definitely a challenging part of the circuit to optimize the attack but obviously you've got to be in control at the same time and keep it really well balanced.'
A1 Team Germany who could potentially win the championship this weekend finished the second practice session in sixth place however rookie driver, Christian Vietoris, who raced for the team last time out in Mexico, topped the table in this morning's session for rookie drivers and developing nations. Vietoris said: 'The car was really good as we started the session and we were able to improve it through the session. It was good to finish on P1 and now I want to drive the race. The first two laps there was a lot of oversteer and understeer and the track was very nice. I learnt it a little bit on the PlayStation so I knew the track and was able to push.'
Bia Figueiredo became the third female to drive an A1GP car when she completed this morning's first official practice session for A1 Team Brazil. The 22 year-old Brazilian who follows former outings by Katherine Legge and Jenifer Murray for A1 Teams Great Britain and South Africa respectively said: 'It was fantastic and the speed was very impressive. It was a big difference from the car I'm used to in South American Formula Three. I was very confident and towards the end of the session my speed was ok. It was about getting confidence and the next opportunity I get I'll know the car and will be able to push more. I'd love to do more A1GP. It would be great. I would be available for Brands Hatch if they asked me, but lets see.'
There is still work to be done by home team China who clocked the seventeenth and fifteenth times over the two sessions. Commenting on the day, driver Congfu Cheng said: 'At the beginning of the day in the rookie session we had a problem with one of our tires and we didn't have a back up tire which is why the results were not very satisfying. We changed the tire and when you do that you have to adjust to the new tire, but things will get more and more improved. I hope we will do better tomorrow. Today hasn't been ideal for us but we achieved a stable performance in the last ten minutes, so hopefully we can do a lot better tomorrow. We can do better tomorrow so we aim high for at least a top six position.'
Official Practice session 2 (14.00 - 15.00) A1 Team Driver Time No. Laps 1 Great Britain Robbie Kerr 1.35.573 17 2 New Zealand Jonny Reid 1.35.603 17 3 France Jean Karl Vernay 1.35.680 4 4 India Narain Karthikeyan 1.35.931 19 5 USA Jonathan Summerton 1.35.976 14 6 Germany Nico Hülkenberg 1.36.001 13 7 Switzerland Sebastien Buemi 1.36.110 25 8 Netherlands Renger van der Zande 1.36.232 3 9 Malaysia Alex Yoong 1.36.339 21 10 Portugal Joao Urbano 1.36.522 26 11 South Africa Alan van der Merwe 1.36.537 12 12 Indonesia Ananda Mikola 1.36.631 20 13 Italy Enrico Toccacelo 1.36.657 24 14 Canada Sean McIntosh 1.36.675 24 15 China Congfu Cheng 1.36.834 17 16 Czech Republic Filip Salaquadra 1.37.275 19 17 Mexico Sergio Perez 1.37.279 12 18 Ireland Richard Lyons 1.37.370 24 19 Brazil Vitor Meira 1.37.378 8 20 Australia Ian Dyk 1.38.079 10 21 Pakistan Nur Ali 1.39.926 17 22 Lebanon Allam Khodair - -
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